coronavirus concerns

Conn. Hospitals Come Together to Treat COVID-19 Patients, Plea for More PPE

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The number of cases of coronavirus in Connecticut continues to grow. Hundreds more people have tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the total in our state to more than 2,500. So far, 36 people have died.

The state is now trying to get ahead of the virus by ramping up testing.

Connecticut's hospitals are coming together to treat patients, but there's still an urgent plea for more personal protective equipment.

The state's three biggest hospital groups including Hartford Healthcare have teamed up as part of the Governor's Health System Response Team to help guide the response to this pandemic.

Some hospital officials have said they are thankful for all those who have stepped up to provide medical equipment, from donations to local businesses retooling factories, but they said a lot more is needed.

Staff members go through a lot of items like masks and gloves to help care for coronavirus patients while protecting themselves.

"What we're trying to do, as you all are, is figure out when is this surge going to hit and how big will it be," said Nuvance Health President and CEO Dr. John Murphy.

"I know that at Greenwich Hospital, which has been on the front line, they've had about nine of their physicians test positive including a number of emergency room physicians and a number of nurses," added Yale New Haven Health CEO Marna Borgstrom.

Lamont said the state did recently receive about 250,000 masks, but he said that's not that many when hospitals are going through about 20,000 a day.

"The people working in our health systems are heroes. We have to be certain that we have that PPE," said Hartford Healthcare President and CEO Jeffrey Flaks.

"We have probably 10 days to two weeks of supply based on a usage rate we have currently," added Borgstrom.

As the state continues to look for more medical equipment, Lamont said a recent shipment of supplies was diverted after federal authorities said Connecticut had a there day supply while other areas didn't.

The state continues to reach out to the community for donations.

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